Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Earth

Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US 158

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the blame-canada dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Jonathan Kaiman reports at The Guardian that China's air pollution could be intensifying storms over the Pacific Ocean and altering weather patterns in North America leading to more ... warm air in the mid-Pacific moving towards the north pole. 'Mid-latitude storms develop off Asia and they track across the Pacific, coming in to the west coast of the U.S.,' says Ellie Highwood, a climate physicist at the University of Reading. 'The particles in this model are affecting how strong those storms are, how dense the clouds are, and how much rainfall comes out of those storms.' Fossil fuel burning and petrochemical processing in Asia's rapidly developing economies lead to a build-up of aerosols, fine particles suspended in the air. Typically, aerosol formation is thought of as the antithesis to global warming: it cools our Earth's climate. But researchers say, too much of any one thing is never good. 'Aerosols provide seeds for cloud formation. If you provide too many seeds, then you fundamentally change cloud patterns and storm patterns,' says co-author Renyi Zhang. China's leaders are aware of the extent of the problem and will soon revise China's environmental protection law for the first time since 1989 ... 'The provisions on transparency are probably the most positive step forward,' says Alex Wang, expert in Chinese environmental law at UCLA. 'These include the requirement that key polluters disclose real-time pollution data.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

Comments Filter:
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:54AM (#46766255)

    China? Tempests on the other side of the world?

    It's clearly a quantum weather butterfly [lspace.org]

    • Seems like a great advert for cheap fossil fuels... one of the great benefits, choking pollution
  • Simple; tax all goods on the amount of pollution used in their manufacture. Set the level so that it does not effect the U.S.A. (Europe and Japan use less energy anyway) and problem solved. Will have a nice side effect of making it less worth while off-shoring manufacturing to China where it is largely cheaper because they don't have to worry about pollution. So not only is it good for the environment it is good for jobs.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      Simple; tax all goods on the amount of pollution used in their manufacture.

      So that every american has either:
      - less things.
      - a higher salary.

      Oh, but the money goes to the government, so you can lower general taxes! which gets:
        - A little less money for those who must buy cheap Chinese products.
        - A little more things for those who buy more expensive products.

      Great result.

      Taxes are a funny toy.

      • Except that

        • Taxes never go down
        • The government can't and won't live within it's means.
        • "Taxes never go down"
          False. The tax rate for those who made a million dollars a year used to be 90%, now it's 33%
          Every income brackets federal taxes has dropped. The richer you are the more they dropped.

          "The government can't and won't live within it's means."
          Nearly all agency in the Federal government live with in their means. The others are usually dictated by citizens or external factors in unexpected ways during a fiscal year. War, 9/11. natural disaster, etc...

          .

          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            The others are usually dictated by citizens or external factors in unexpected ways during a fiscal year. War, 9/11. natural disaster, etc...

            I guess "natural disaster" is one way to describe the Bush tax cuts.

            The controversy over our budget deficits are an entirely manufactured one,
            made all the more hypocritical because the biggest critics are also the most responsible for it.

        • What were the tax rates in 1970? What are the tax rates now? What direction did they go?

      • by Khashishi (775369)

        - A little less money for those who must buy cheap Chinese products.
          - A little more things for those who buy more expensive products.

        Great result.

        Taxes are a funny toy.

        And a little more money in the pockets of workers who make these more expensive (domestic) products.

      • by OneAhead (1495535) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:25PM (#46771175)
        Yes, they are funny, which many consequences, some difficult-to-predict. In fact, you are having way too much fun with this. Specifically, don't you think it's a tad disingenuous to focus on just a couple of cherry-picked possible consequences to make some political point? As a counterweight, here are some more (just as biased as your pick): more (manufacturing and such) jobs for the huge number of lowly educated jobless in the USA (many of which don't show up in the "job searcher" statistics because they've given up searching)
        --> more people who can afford buying stuff --> better turnover rate of the consumer economy
        --> more manufacturing in the USA --> economic growth --> more regular tax income --> opportunity to decrease regular tax rates and/or improve infrastructure
        --> less people who are reliant on unemployment and other benefits --> less government expenditure --> opportunity to decrease regular tax rates and/or improve infrastructure
        --> less people who commit crime out of desperation
    • "Set the level so that it does not effect [sic] the U.S.A." -- you do realize that China's pollution is, in large part, there because US companies moved or contracted most of their manufacturing there, right? This is a nice example of reaping what you sow -- America avoids pollution itself by offshoring, but the process of offshoring trades the pollution for severe weather instead.
      • by crabby0 (1833766)
        What utter garbage the whole global warming/ ClimateChange/Pollution it all is. Carbon Dioxide has never been proven to do anything on a worldwide basis. I know so-called Scientists need something to do but can't they pick something else to research? It is a total fallacy to blame CO2 for the world's disparate Climate related changes. Just another way to RIP US ALL OFF. The planet hasn't warmed in about 17 years and the Oceans are not absorbing enough to prove that and there is no hotspot in the upper atmos
    • by beefoot (2250164)
      ahem ahem .... next time you go to walmart, the cheapest microwave oven is going to be $800 ... ahem ahem, next time you go to buy a light bulb, the cheapest is going to be 3 for $25 ... ahem ahem .... next time you buy an iphone, it is going to be $0 which comes with 15 years contract ... ahem ahem ... just saying.
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        My answer is to put a 500% tax on all US companies that do not manufacture their products in the USA.

        • by operagost (62405)

          I'll ignore your stupid 500% for now.

          What about the foreign companies that do not manufacture their products here? Are you also going to impose a... *sigh* ... 500% tariff?

          • Hey! That's a good idea. Put a 500% tariff on everything that's not made here. Who care who makes it?

            • Hey! That's a good idea. Put a 500% tariff on everything that's not made here. Who care who makes it?

              Brazil does this. Since Nikes cost $300 a pair, the local manufacturers can get away with charging $165 for a pair of sneakers. That's just under a week's median wages.

              All these policies do is keep the people poor. It's a non-zero-sum game with losses on all sides.

              • by Khashishi (775369)

                You know what is more effective at keeping people poor? Barriers on immigration. You can't serious about the free market if you push for the free flow of products, but not the free flow of people.

              • by sjames (1099)

                That sounds more like a market failure. Given adequate competition, surely someone would be tempted to charge $155 and make a killing...

              • by Lumpy (12016)

                Raging Stupidity like buying Nike shows is what keeps people poor. Only idiots buy "name brands" or brands that have a retard culture that surrounds it. Like the moronic wearing flat brimmed hats with the tags still on them. Only the mentally retarded do that.

                • those brands should pay you to wear them as you are a walking advert for them with their logo splashed all over them - some people are just vain fashion victims
          • by geekoid (135745)

            You should explain why you think that's a bad thing.

      • Re:Polution tax (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fuzznutz (789413) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @09:34AM (#46766713)

        ahem ahem .... next time you go to walmart, the cheapest microwave oven is going to be $800 ... ahem ahem, next time you go to buy a light bulb, the cheapest is going to be 3 for $25 ... ahem ahem .... next time you buy an iphone, it is going to be $0 which comes with 15 years contract ... ahem ahem ... just saying.

        And since the prices go up and replacement is not something you want to have to do very often. Maybe we stop buying based upon what is cheapest and stop getting something that cannot be repaired and is essentially disposable after one use, and we start buying on quality and repairability. Everything is designed for the landfill these days. it didn't use to be that way before we started importing "cheap" junk.

        • by Ubi_NL (313657)

          Also it increases demand for local labour, as you won't be sending that microwave to china to get repaired

        • by nblender (741424)

          Because the 'Product of USA' things I can buy have still been manufactured in China, but final assembly and packaging was done in the US and the price was marked up accordingly...

        • If you want quality and repairability too, those prices will be going up by another order of magnitude or so. Enjoy your $8,000 microwave, three for $250 lightbulbs, and 150-year iPhone contract. We live in a disposable society based around the creation of the maximum possible waste, we are at its epicenter, and we spend all of our free time pointing our fingers at others in blame.
        • by delt0r (999393)
          People don't throw phones away because the can't be repaired. They throw them away because they now have a newer nicer one.
          • by fuzznutz (789413)

            People don't throw phones away because the can't be repaired. They throw them away because they now have a newer nicer one.

            Speak for yourself. I threw out my iPhone when the WiFi failed on it. I still have the Nexus 4 I bought. I don't buy the latest and greatest phone "just because" but then, I don't have a contract which encourages that kind of idiotic behavior.

      • by bjwest (14070)

        ahem ahem .... next time you go to walmart, the cheapest microwave oven is going to be $800

        This will move us back from the throw away mentality we're at now by making it more economical to repair than replace. It will also create jobs, as now we need the repair shops we once had. Maybe it'll bring back quality to the products as well, who knows? It'll be a good thing, at any rate, for both the environment and us.

        • Actually, I think my microwave oven cost me closer to $1000. But that's because I bought it long before cheap crap from China. Unlike the cheap crap, it still works fine. Amortized over the years, it's been cheaper than the Wal-Mart junk.

        • by kyrsjo (2420192)

          Exactly. You'll get more jobs both due to local manufacture and local repairs. Many of these jobs will have relatively light education requirements, which is probably a good thing.

          One could also try making the tax percentages more progressive (as in tax percentage increasing as income is increasing), maybe increase the minimum salary from which any tax is levied, and include a few basic things such as health insurance, emergency responce (firefighting and ambulance), and proper education in the tax bill. Th

      • Labour costs on a microwave are $700? Wow we need to outsource to the USA at once!

      • Re:Polution tax (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mlts (1038732) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @10:42AM (#46767515)

        If the microwave was repairable/servicable with magnetron parts available for example, there wouldn't be anything wrong with an $800 unit. In fact, going back to appliances that are designed to be repaired rather than replaced is probably one of the best ideas that can happen in the market.

        One example of this are portable generators. I can buy a no-name Chinese model inverter on the cheap. However, if I need to find a carb, jets, brushes, or other parts, I -might- be able to adapt something, or I might just be SOL and have to buy a new one. Or, I can pay the price premium for a Honda, Yamaha, or Champion make, and be able to find parts almost anywhere.

        If LED light bulbs mature enough so they have a long MTBF, then three for $25 is a good deal. That isn't a bad thing either.

        Similar with a phone. If it were made somewhat modular where RAM, flash storage, and other parts were upgradable, with the antenna being easily swapped out, then paying twice as much for the device wouldn't be a bad thing.

        It would be nice to see something other than the absolute race to the bottom when it comes to materials, fit/finish, customer support, and overall quality.

        • Similar with a phone. If it were made somewhat modular where RAM, flash storage, and other parts were upgradable, with the antenna being easily swapped out, then paying twice as much for the device wouldn't be a bad thing.

          What, like this [theguardian.com], you mean?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        It wouldn't be nearly that much, also..so what? you argument is people would by less shit, keep what they have longer, and give a trong market incentive to find cleaner ways to manufacture goods.
        To which I say: Good.

        "Ahem ahem" makes you sound like a non-thinking jack ass.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      That is not how the USA works.

      The proper USA response is....

      WAR ON CHINA!!!!!

      and it will be really good for our economy, it will bring back manufacturing to the USA as well.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...and the Democrat Underground have both infested Slashdot.

      You want to see economic ignorance incarnate? Just come to Slashdot where a bunch of unemployed college students will vomit back all manner of Marxist, Stalinist, Leninist and Maoists economic theory poured into their giant, empty heads by their professors.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Hey now! Don't forget about us students who watch Fox News...we vomit too, you know!
      • We keep those people next to the Ayn Rand fans, and cook popcorn. No matter what stupid idea it is, it's probably on Slashdot somewhere.

    • Given that the US is (as you correctly point out) among the most profligate and inefficient economies in the world, setting the tax so that it didn't affect the US would mean setting it so that it didn't affect anyone anywhere. which would be entirely pointless.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its easy to blame China for massive pollution, but it's industry is merely trying to satisfy massive demand, mostly western.

    They cannot be expected to adopt first world environmental standards that took decades for the west to develop. Also US/Euro companies outsourcing manufacturing, are dodging domestic environmental regulations to save on costs. So here at least, no one to blame but the west.

    In a way, this reminds me of the financial crisis when it was brewing. We could blame the property developers for

    • They cannot be expected to adopt first world environmental standards that took decades for the west to develop.

      Why not? We developed the products and now they make them. Why can't they employ the pollution-control technology we developed?

      • by jabuzz (182671)

        Because if they did it would probably be no cheaper than manufacturing them in North America or Europe, and shipping them over. A large part of what makes manufacturing in China cheaper is that you can pollute like crazy. It is also not just smog from air pollution, but pouring toxic waste into rivers etc.

        • The real reason why manufacturing is cheaper in China is labor costs, though. Which is why stuff that's heavily automated is often done in the US, despite the more stringent environmental restrictions.

          Then again, my position on toxins is that everything that a factory emits that isn't a profitable product means someone hasn't been thinking efficiently. Coal tar, SO2, heavy metals, ash - if they're reclaimed and put to gainful employment you get a cleaner environment and more profit.

  • So it is true, if a butterfly flaps its wings in China .... The Butterfly Effect
  • Especially when it's in reference to the air like substance that surrounds most large Chinese cities.

  • I slipped and busted my ass on a patch of ice outside of my apartment this morning.

    That's who's to blame!

  • Thank goodness for transparency. I mean, we all know how honest and forthcoming Chinese and Chinese-American businesses are. They're just like Western corporations now.

    Surely they wouldn't lie, would they?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How we put some blame on the fleets of planes deploying chemtrails all at the same time and in a pattern? I see it everytime there is a clear day.

  • FIlters on coal fired power stations and industrial chimneys, catalysts and DPFs on vehicles and a ban on coal heating in cities. Why China can't manage these simple tasks is anyones guess. Its not like they don't have the money.

  • "China's leaders are aware of the extent of the problem and will soon revise China's environmental protection law for the first time since 1989"

    Whew! Nice to know they're on top of this now.
  • No shit guys ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:18AM (#46768077) Homepage

    That's why climate change is a global thing.

    Are people laboring under the belief that this will result in purely localized effects?

    There is only one atmosphere, and if you screw it up, it's screwed up everywhere.

    • And yet, everybody screams about America that emits only 15%, ignores Europe that emits about 16% (and climbing), and China at over 1/3 of all CO2.
  • Anyone else recall a sci-fi short story (I think by Frank Herbert, but maybe not) about a woman who worked at a weather office. Her boss finally died after his practice of deeply inhaling the local polluted air, waiting for clear air from China (one day, it stopped and so did he).

    One of the side stories was a character who was a member of the Religion of the Month Club. The tagline was: "How can you be sure African Bantu isn't the True Way!!?"
  • The original IPCC scientific report stated that 70 percent of the climate change emissions were coming from just 10 countries, of which two of the largest were the US and China.

    But they removed that, because then those countries might have to actually change their behavior and stop shipping US coal to China.

    • And yet, that is a joke. China emits more than 1/3 of the CO2 emissions in the world today. America is below 15%. And Europe-OECD is actually ABOVE America. The problem is, that IPCC normalizes in bizarre fashions. The idea that CO2 emissions are compared in a national way is a joke. Germany's emission are climbing fast and yet, total emissions are below America. Many nations in Europe are fairly low, and yet, in terms of CO2 / $GDP, they are monster high.
  • One of the real problems with China is that few fully realize how bad of shape they are in. When OCO2 comes out and the numbers are measured for CO2 flows in and out of CHina, the world is in for a shock.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

    Could it be affecting our weather, too?

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.

Working...